Mountlake Terrace Library Blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Could YOU Pass the U.S. Citizenship Test?

With all that is happening in the world and Memorial Day approaching, I reflect on what it means to be an American. I also think about those who choose to be Americans – who have traveled to the United States and started their lives over again to head down the road to American citizenship. It is certainly not an easy or inexpensive road to travel.

The Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood libraries are happy to participate in this journey by offering classes to community members seeking U.S. citizenship. Other Sno-Isle libraries will also soon be offering these classes.

The classes concentrate on the 100 U.S. civics and history questions that students will need to answer during their citizenship interview. Though only 10 questions are actually asked at the interview, prospective citizens won’t know what will be asked, so they need to be prepared for all 100 of them.

Let’s pretend you are seeking citizenship and I am the interviewer and these are the 10 questions I will ask you.

Let’s see how well you would do – and no cheating!

Question #1. In 25 words or less, please solve the U.S. deficit problem.

No, no, I am just kidding.

Here are the real questions:

1. What is the supreme law of the land?
(And don't say your Mom.)

2. What is the “rule of law?”

3. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
(Hint: Don't get hung up on the fact that some don't bother to vote).

4. What is one responsibility that is only for U.S. citizens?
(Hint: One thing is something people try to get out of and the other is something not enough people participate in).

5. Why did the colonists fight the British?
(Hint: tea was very, very expensive in those days)

6. When was the Constitution written?
(and don’t say 1776 because that would be wrong.)

7. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.
(Hint: Federalist is not a last name).

8. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
(Hint: It’s not the kite story.)

9. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
(Hint: If you answer lots, you would be right, but it's not the required answer.)

10. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?
(Hint: It’s not because 13 was Betsy Ross's favorite number).

How did you do?

Rather sobering, isn’t it, when we have lived here all of our lives, taken U.S. History and Civics classes and these answers don’t roll off of our tongues? – Well, they don’t roll off mine, anyway.

To see the rest of the questions Click here

Classes are ongoing at the Lynnwood Library on Tuesdays at 1pm and classes resume at the Mountlake Terrace Library in 5 week sessions beginning June 23. We are currently taking registrations. For more information call the Lynnwood Library at 425-778-2148 or the Mountlake Terrace Library at 424-776-8722.

1. The Constitution
2. Everyone must follow the law
Leaders must obey the law
Government must obey the law
No one is above the law.
3. 435
4. Serve on a jury
Vote in a U.S. election
5. Because of high taxes (taxation without representation)
Because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering)
Because they didn’t have self-government
6. 1787
7. James Madison
Alexander Hamilton
John Jay
(I didn’t know who that was either)
8. U.S. Diplomat
Oldest member of the Constitutional Convention
First Postmaster General of the U.S.
Writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”
Started the first free libraries
9. Fought for women’s rights
Fought for civil rights
10.Because there were 13 original colonies
Because the stripes represent the original colonies